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It is perhaps because the benefits to be obtained from the compilation of careful and complete lecture notes are so obvious, that these benefits receive but little consideration. But whether this or mere inertia be the cause, there are at all events, men who utterly neglect note taking, and many whose notes are inadequate and merely perfunctory.
Note taking fixes the attention upon what is being said, and impresses the lecture on the memory far more effectively and permanently than does mere listening. Besides, notes often prove the means of arousing a student's interest in what had hitherto seemed a very dull course, and the better work which invariably attends increased interest consequently results. More important still, note taking teaches one to grasp the essentials and to unearth the underlying fundamentals from the mass of illustrations and illusions by which they are oftentimes obscured. Also, condensation and conciseness of expression are promoted by careful note taking. Finally, a very practical side to the advantages accruing from the possession of complete notes becomes apparent at the end of term time, when they are nearly certain to render tutoring and seminars superfluous.
Though, of course, men who fall to take notes are chiefly to blame for their delinquency, still because the means to obviate this condition of affairs are so simple, it would seem, perhaps, that the Faculty had some share of the responsibility in the matter. At present there are but few courses which require lecture notes. If this simple requirement were made general it would involve no hardship for the serious student, and it would confer on many the very real benefits that accrue to those who take adequate lecture notes.
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